A typical tiff between pitcher and umpire over a ball/strike call took on an extra dimension on Sunday when home plate umpire Tom Hallion and Rays ace David Price exchanged accusations to the media after Sunday's 8-3 Tampa Bay win over the White Sox. Price subsequently took to Twitter to defend himself at length.
The origin of the dispute was Price's penultimate pitch of the game, a 1-2 fastball to Dewayne Wise with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning in what was then a tie game. To the naked eye and to Fox Sports Florida's Foxtrax pitch location graphic, the pitch appeared to catch plenty of the outside of the plate. Hallion, though, called it a ball, which started Price squawking. Price got Wise to ground out on the next pitch, but while walking toward the dugout Hallion approached him and the two exchanged words, after which Price's anger increased, the Rays' dugout started yelling, and Hallion ejected Tampa Bay pitcher Jeremy Hellickson.
Here's what that sequence looked like on the broadcast:
[mlbvideo id="26683805" width="400" height="224" /]
Price claimed after the game that the eruption came after Hallion cursed at him, telling him to "throw the ball over the [explative] plate."
Hallion denied using the f-bomb, telling Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, "I’ll come right out bluntly and say he’s a liar. . . I’m denying what he said I said pretty strongly. . . . I said, ‘Just throw the ball.’ That’s all I said to him. . . . I'm just telling you, he's lying. It's plain and simple."
That made Price even more irate, and he sent a series of tweets explaining and defending himself. When a fan asked him what Hellickson did to get ejected, Price tweeted back, "Had my back after what everyone in the dugout heard what [sic] the ump said." When another fan tweeted to him that Hallion said he had lied, Price replied, "Right and the most quiet guy in #mlb got ejected from the game."
He then went on a brief rant against Hallion with the following tweets:
Tom Hallion does not have a twitter account.